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Do we really need closed-suction drainage in total hip arthroplasty? A meta-analysis

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The clinical use of closed-suction drainage, which aims to reduce postoperative wound haematomas and infection, is common. This study was performed to determine whether closed-suction drainage is safe and effective in promoting wound healing and reducing blood loss and other complications compared with no-drainage in total hip arthroplasty.


The literature search was based on PubMed, the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and EMBASE. The data were evaluated using the generic evaluation tool designed by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group, and then analysed using RevMan 5.0. Twenty randomised controlled trials involving 3,186 patients were included in our analysis.


The results of our meta-analysis indicate that closed-suction drainage reduces the requirement for dressing reinforcement, but increases the rate of homologous blood transfusion. No significant difference was observed in the incidence of infection, blood loss, changes in haemoglobin and haematocrit, functional assessment, or other complications when the drainage group was compared with the no-drainage group.


Our results of the comparison between closed-suction drainage and no drainage in THA have indicated that the routine use of closed-suction drainage for elective total hip arthroplasty may be of more harm than benefit.

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We would like to thank Professor Martyn Parker, Dr. Ling-ling Sun and Dr. Tiao Lin for help in this study.

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No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

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Correspondence to Li-dong Wu.

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Zhou, Xd., Li, J., Xiong, Y. et al. Do we really need closed-suction drainage in total hip arthroplasty? A meta-analysis. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 37, 2109–2118 (2013).

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